I used to really enjoy listening to HR on ESPN’s Baseball Tonight, but this year, I’ve made the mistake of paying attention to what he’s saying. I think that the problem with many analysts who are former players is that the game came easily and was physically intuitive to them. Consequently, they haven’t had to study the sport in any objective way.
In any case, Harold was talking about over-rated statistics and cited On-Base Percentage (OBP) as an example. He pointed to Jason Giambi, who annually ranks among the league leaders in that category, and explained that the Yankees 1B/DH clogs up the bases. After pointing out a few other players who have high OBPs, but don’t run well, Harold switched gears and talked about prototypical speedy leadoff men. While Juan Pierre could hardly be accused of slowing anyone down, he’s only moderately effective as a leadoff hitter because he doesn’t get on base often enough. At the end of the game, the team that scores more runs wins the game. Run production correlates fairly highly with OBP, but correlation coefficients are likely of little interest to the majority to the retired player analysts on ESPN.
What made Harold’s statement that much more annoying to me is that he cited — just 2 or 3 days later — the Yankees as having one of the most potent offenses in baseball. You’re probably thinking, “But that’s true, isn’t it?” Absolutely, but his rationale was this: The Yankees are struggling and are among the worst in the league in batting average, but thus far, they are among the league leaders in base runners. What’s that mean? All of those high OBP guys have some value. Strange…. Just a few days earlier, getting on base was overrated.
Apple? Please. Why do so many celebrity parents feel compelled to thumb their noses at the general public by giving their children ridiculous names. In fact, Apple is relatively innocuous when compared to Moon Unit, Audio Science, and Pilot Inspektor. For the best of the worst, check out this article.
I recently put together a MythTV box, running on Gentoo Linux. I have mixed feelings about both Myth and Gentoo thus far. Getting everything up-and-running was certainly not a trivial process and when Myth was finally working, the picture quality wasn’t very good. I was going to do some tweaking, but I hosed my machine today and will have to get it fixed before I do so.